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Friday, February 29, 2008

98 Ways to Think Like an Entrepreneur
















Consider the phrase, “Everyone is an entrepreneur.”

Do you think that’s a valid statement?

I don’t.

Not entirely, that is.

See, I don’t think everyone is an entrepreneur. However:

I DO believe everyone could benefit from having entrepreneurial thinking.

HERE’S WHY: The term “entrepreneur” comes from the French word, entreprendre, which means, “to undertake or manage some task.”

Notice it didn’t say anything about business. Or commerce. Or websites. Or running your own cupcake store.

Just a task. Just something you do. Work related or not.

So, next time you find yourself managing some task (which I imagine happens fairly often), keep these 98 entrepreneurial thoughts in mind:

- - -

1. Never stop asking, “What’s next?” When you finish one project, activity or endeavor, celebrate and then move on to the next one.

2. In January, ask yourself, “How could I spend ZERO money this year?”

3. Recognize that the only person who can make you get up, get out of bed and go to work is YOURSELF.

4. In the customer’s eyes, YOU ARE the company.

5. ASK YOURSELF DAILY: “Is what I’m doing right now consistent with my #1 goal?”

6. Speaking of things to do daily, you must market yourself every single day.

7. Ideas are your major source of income.

8. Finish this sentence: I wish there was a _______ so people wouldn’t have to ________.

9. Invest money; don’t spend it.

10. Recognize that most people do not know who you are or what you do. You need to educate them. Everyone who knows you should know what you DO, what you’re DOING and what you’ve DONE.

11. Pioneer in obscure areas.

12. With every new experience or accomplishment, ask yourself, “Now that I have this, what else does this make possible?”

13. If you’re the only employee, you need to set healthy boundaries. Because if you don’t set them, other people will set them for you. And then they will violate them. And that will set a precedent that it’s acceptable for other people to do the same. REMEMBER: Boundaries are saviors. For more, watch this NametagTV episode on boundaries!

14. ASK YOURSELF: “Is this an opportunity, or an opportunity to be used?”

15. Figure out what you know that other people find valuable. Then enable them to buy it from you.

16. Figure out why your competitors get more attention than you.

17. You are not your customer.

18. Don’t be stopped by not knowing how. Knowing why is enough. Just go. You’ll figure out the how later. Launch and learn!

19. Don’t be so in love WITH or so close TO your idea that you can’t see its weaknesses. Ask objective outsiders.

20. When you get stumped, experiment with every known fragment of your answer.

21. Make creativity your daily (er, hourly) practice. Don’t make it something you just “turn on” every once in a while. Creativity is an attitude and a lifestyle. Not a weekend warrior thing.

22. ASK YOURSELF: “Is this the most prudent use of my time right now?”

23. Operate on multiple planes of consciousness. Take on various roles of the artist, the mechanic, the CEO, the janitor and the customer service rep.

24. The more you learn, the more valuable you are.

25. The more imitable you are, the less valuable you are.

26. Diversity is equity. Are you a one trick pony?

27. Refuse to discard hunches. Your gut is smarter than you think.

28. Think ridiculously big thoughts.

29. The only way to become more successful is to get BETTER at what you do and/or, to do MORE of what you do.

30. Learn to juggle.

31. Duplicate, clone and multiply yourself. Find a way to deliver value without actually being there. Access isn’t presence.

32. Figure out at what point you’d rather grow your business than make money.

33. Figure out at what point you’d rather make a contribution than grow your business.

34. Ask yourself how YOU can do it before asking how it’s already been done.

35. Study your own discovery process.

36. If everybody loves your idea, you’re doing something wrong. Stop trying to please everybody. Stop trying to be so well rounded. Stop trying to appeal to the masses. Pick a lane, narrow your focus and start polarizing some folks. It won’t kill you. There’s a LOT of potential customers out there.

37. If everybody says you’re crazy, you might just be onto something.

38. If you’re not pissing off (some) people, you’re not doing your job.

39. If nobody’s trying to steal, copy or parody your idea, it’s probably not that good.

40. If you can’t explain your idea to a five year old, it’s not simple enough.

41. If you can’t explain your idea on the back of a business card, it’s not simple enough.

42. If you can’t explain your idea in eight words or less, it’s not simple enough.

43. If people aren’t talking about your idea, it won’t spread and therefore, won’t be successful.

44. ASK YOURSELF: If someone was going to pay you $1000 an hour, what are the questions they’ve got to ask you to get their money’s worth?

45. Make sure you are being stretched and forced to grow. Daily.

46. One of the most difficult things for an entrepreneur to do is press The Off Button. To (not) check email at 10:30 PM, for example. What about you? Are you addicted to email?

47. Going solo can become a vortex. So, be careful to walk the line between being immersed and submersed. REMEMBER: Tread, don’t drown.

48. Be the one with the most information. You will win.

49. Tooting your own horn is acceptable and necessary. Blowing your own horn? Not so much.

50. ASK YOURSELF: Are your friendships, relationships, and your emotional life suffering as a result of this task?

51. Everything you do should lead to something else you do. Make sure your ideas have movement value.

52. Continually develop options and answers. This will make the solution easier to find.

53. ASK YOURSELF: How can you do the work once and benefit many times?

54. It’s a tough road, being on your own. Sustaining ambition, commitment and dedication will be your biggest challenge. So, you better build a solid support system of multiple mentors, mastermind groups, loved ones, colleagues and other valuable relationships.

55. Execution is probably the biggest secret to all successful entrepreneurs. How do YOU turn your ideas into action? And how long will it take? Those are the big entrepreneurial questions.

56. Be careful not to spend all your time talking about your new idea. Sometimes an entrepreneur will talk the energy out of an idea then and have nothing left for action. Be careful.

57. How much could you be charging for that?

58. How often does perfection keep you from starting? Because there’s never going to be a “right” time. Just when you get there, “there” disappears. Just go, man.

59. Constantly upgrade your qualifications. In what ways are you currently obsolete?

60. State your fee confidently and then shut up. He who talks next loses.

61. Another trait of successful entrepreneurs is the ability to notice things. Trends, patterns, anomalies and the like. This helps you recognize opportunities. What are YOU noticing?

62. What’s your “currency?” Because it might not be money. It could be time with your kids, for example. And you need know what your currency is before undertaking any new endeavor.

63. Your calendar is your inventory. Protect your days.

64. You are what you charge. (Refer back to #60)

65. Listen to everybody or listen to nobody.

66. Find out where you suck. Then decide whether you need to improve in that area or hire someone else to do it for you.

67. Entrepreneurs take risks. Period. And NOT taking risks is an even BIGGER risk. So, you must learn to love your zone of discomfort.

68. Don’t say, “That’s impossible!” Instead, ask yourself, “How can I do this?”

69. Think about what you’re BUILDING, not just what you’re MANAGING.

70. Being an entrepreneur is all about freedom. Freedom to be yourself. Freedom from corporate politics. Freedom to work in your PJ’s all day. Freedom to leave work early and go to a movie on Tuesday afternoon. Freedom to do what you want, when you want it and how you want it. Freedom to lay on the couch in your pajamas all day while writing on your laptop, drinking Fennel Tea and listening to Morphine - and calling that "work." (Hypothetically, of course.) Is what you're doing TODAY creating more freedom TOMORROW?

71. Don’t accept the same type of assignments and clients you worked with two years ago. That means you haven’t grown much.

72. You aren’t a salesperson, a businessperson or a service provider. You are a resource. An expert. A trusted advisor.

73. Look into the future and examine what the type of people who do what you do often become. Then ask yourself if that’s the type of person you want to become.

74. Deliver insight, not just expertise.

75. Learn the rules so you know how to break them effectively. NOTE: Consider googling the rule first, just to make sure it’s not illegal.

76. Always think of yourself as self-employed. Even if you work for some huge corporate monolith. This type of thinking will help you take greater ownership and personal responsibility over your job.

77. Sell people on YOU first. Then sell them on your idea.

78. There is no finish line. You’ve never arrived. Instead, you constantly expand your skills and abilities to add more value to your self, your services and your products.

79. Be like the sharks, which start dying when they stop swimming. See, they have to ask themselves, “What’s next?” because they can’t eat, breathe or breed unless they stay in motion.

80. Screw up. Like, a lot. Love your mistakes, because mistakes reveal individuality. Also, find a way to incorporate mistakes into your work. Make them mindfully. REMEMBER: Mistakes are springboards.

81. Don’t attach yourself to a business plan. In fact, consider not even HAVING a business plan! You’d hate to limit yourself.

82. Having a MARKETING plan, on the other hand, isn’t a bad idea.

83. Having a cool company name goes a LONG way. So please, for the love of God, don’t use something unoriginal and generic like “Daniels & Associates," "Got termites?" or "The Hagel Company." Nobody knows the name Daniels. You don’t even HAVE any associates. And that trite "Got milk?" ripoff is about 14 years too old. You can do better. Have some fun. Get a cool company name. Good lord!

84. If you’re the kind of person that constantly needs certainty, your entrepreneurial road will be really, really rocky.

85. Being an entrepreneur isn’t a characteristic or a personality trait. It’s a way of life, a type of attitude, a style of thinking and a pattern of behavior.

86. Learn to kick your own ass, because nobody else will.

87. Focus on creativity, not efficiency. (If you want a list of the 10 best books on creativity you've never heard of, email scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll hook you up!)

88. Don’t just think about leveraging what you have. Think also about what else you could do with what you’ve unexpectedly landed with.

89. Figure out what types of people you need to listen to, as well as what types of people (not) to listen to.

90. Criticism comes with the entrepreneurial territory. Learn to accept or discard it; or even sometimes, embrace it. And find out where you suck.

91. Questions are the most valuable resource you have. Ask lots of them. Daily.

92. As an entrepreneur, you get paid according the amount of value you deliver, not the number of hours you put in. Which means 90% of success isn’t seen. Which means you will work your ass off, and most people will only see that final 10%. Ouch. Better make sure it’s good.

93. Invest your money; don’t spend it.

94. Take your core business, build a wall around it and then go be the best.

95. Don’t waste your time dealing with potential customers and partners who (clearly) don’t know how to value you yet.

96. Define your optimal workday and workweek. Stick to it.

97. In a commoditized market, the key differentiator is service.

98. In a commoditized market, customers are just going to pick the best choice. So, if you’re not going to be the best at what you do, why even bother?

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
What are your three best practices for "thinking like an entrepreneur?"

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share them here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Just starting your own business?
Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on leveraging your ideas!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Why your marketing is no longer enough

For all you marketers out there, I’ve got good news and bad news.

THE GOOD NEWS IS: The world is flat, the barriers to entry are low and the opportunities to leverage new ideas are ENDLESS!

THE BAD NEWS IS: your marketing is no longer enough.

Here are six examples:

1. SHTICK is no longer enough. The word shtick is defined as “A characteristic attribute, talent, gimmick or trait that is helpful in securing recognition or attention.” The challenge is, shtick won’t sustain you. Sure, shtick is catchy and cool and clever and fun and different; but it’s not enough.

REMEMBER: Shtick might get you in the door, but only substance will keep you in the room.

Is your marketing a Tootsie Roll or a Dum Dum?

2. WEBSITE is no longer enough. Websites used to be fancy, expensive tools only possessed by the technologically elite. Not anymore! Now, any 10 year old kid with the right software can create a website in under an hour. So, combine that trend with the expansion of social networking and blogs, websites are no longer enough. You need a web PRESENCE. A interconnected network of different sites, all pointing to the baseline, i.e., your original site.

REMEMBER: Be an octopus, not an earthworm.

Does your marketing have enough tentacles?

3. SATISFACTION is no longer enough. Who cares if your customers are satisfied? The real question is, “Are they telling their friends about you?” See, customers EXPECT to be satisfied. That’s par for the course. That’s like getting a C+. If you REALLY want to make a name for yourself, think of your customer service as having three levels: satisfaction, loyalty and INSISTENCE. Strive for the last two and you will create fans (not customers) for life.

REMEMBER: Satisfied customers don’t tell their friends about you.

And if clients aren't actively telling their friends about you, this might happen.

4. SOLE CONTACT is no longer enough. If a customer comes to your website, she expects to be able to call, fax or email you instantly. And, get a human response. But again, that’s standard. With the advent of instant messaging, widgets, messages boards, blogs and other cool forms of online communication, that’s no longer enough. The best, most approachable and most ACCESSIBLE businesspeople make themselves available via multiple media.

REMEMBER: Don’t give customers a reason NOT to investigate you further.

Instead, do stuff like this.

5. SOLE DELIVERY is no longer enough. Text-based marketing is SO 1994. This is 2008, Holmes. Your customers’ attention spans are diminishing daily. Not to mention, we live in a “My Culture” where customers call the shots. So, you need to appeal to them with multiple modes of content delivery like video, audio and RSS.

REMEMBER: Customers don’t read anymore. They scan.

Or, they watch videos like these.

- - -

Ultimately, when it comes to marketing, something things are just no longer enough.

Something to think about.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What aspects of marketing do you think are no longer enough?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
If you'd like to know what the most important word in marketing is, email scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll gladly (attempt to) enlighten you!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many people blogged about YOU this week?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on spreading the word about your company!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

68 Things Employees Never Want to Hear Their Manager Say























1. Better luck next time.
2. Can I see you for a second?
3. Close the door.
4. Conditions were different when I said that.
5. Discussion is over.
6. Don’t bother me right now.
7. Don’t bring me problems; bring me solutions.
8. Everybody’s doing it.
9. Get out!
10. Guess what I’ volunteering you for?
11. Here, you handle this problem. I’m busy.
12. Here’s what you’re doing wrong.
13. I can't help it if it's your day off.
14. I don’t care if it’s your day off.
15. I don’t have time for you right now.
16. I don't want to hear it.
17. I know it’s a holiday, but…
18. I know it’s Saturday, but…
19. I know it’s your day off, but…
20. I need to have a word with you.
21. I need you to do this.
22. I never said that!
23. I’m not the problem, you are.
24. I’m right, you’re wrong.
25. I’m too busy to listen.
26. If you could go ahead and drop off those TPS reports, that would be grrrrreeeeat.
27. If you have anything to say, keep it to yourself.
28. In case a bus hits you, I want to make sure you and Karen are inter-changeable.
29. Is this YOUR bag of drugs?
30. It doesn’t matter.
31. It was political.
32. It’s not my fault; I didn’t know the law.
33. Merit didn't have anything to do with it.
34. My mind is made up.
35. No, I don’t understand and I probably never will.
36. Nobody will know.
37. Oh, we’re finished.
38. Some you win; some you lose.
39. That’s horrible! Do it over.
40. That’s how it’s always been done.
41. That’s the stupidest idea I’ve ever heard.
42. The schedule is already made up.
43. There’s no problem.
44. Those are breaks of the game.
45. Try paying attention to what you’re doing.
46. We aren’t the problem, they are.
47. We’re replacing you with this robot…
48. We’re right, they’re wrong.
49. We’ve already tried that before.
50. What's your name again?
51. Who the hell is responsible for this?
52. You brought this on yourself.
53. You can leave now.
54. You can’t go to church – you have to work.
55. You don’t really feel that way.
56. You got into this mess, now you get out of this mess.
57. You haven’t worked here long enough.
58. You putz; can you do ANYTHING right?
59. You should have known better.
60. You’re fired.
61. You’re not allowed to say that.
62. You’re not educated enough.
63. You’re not living up to your potential.
64. You’re not ready.
65. You’re wrong.
66. You’ve got a looooong way to go before we give you any new responsibilities.
67. Your office chair didn’t show up so you’ll be sitting on orange crates for the next two weeks.
68. You're going to do it because I say you're going to do it. Now move!

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's on YOUR list of things employees never want to hear their manager say?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your list here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Tired of waiting for employees to come to YOU?
Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on how to stick yourself out there!

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

NametagTV: What's in a (User) Name?



Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!

Or, click here for the original link to this video on NametagTV.com.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's the most memorable username you've ever seen?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share it here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Training videos putting your office to sleep?

Tune in to NametagTV.com for an interactive learning experience!

Stick yourself out there!

Monday, February 25, 2008

19 Ways to Build Buzz about Your New Website
























Oscar Wilde once remarked, “The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.”

So. Who’s talking about you?

Well, if you’re not happy with your answer, perhaps these practices, ideas and suggestions will help spread the word about your new website:

1. FIRST THINGS FIRST:Build remarkability into your ideas before they go public. Are you (already) worth making a remark about?

2. Give it away. If you want it to be viral, (some) of your content HAS to be free. What are YOU giving away?

3. Stop writing. Nobody’s going to read all that copy. Think images, not words. And keep it clean and above the fold. How are YOU using video?

4. Harness the power of ITunes. They have AMAZING marketing and reach a LOT of people that might not ever GO to your site. Podcasting – audio or video – is the key to reaching new audiences via web 2.0. How many people’s IPods are YOU on?

5. Use Digg and Delicious. Screw Oprah. Digg and Delicious are WAY more powerful (and a LOT less annoying) than her. Also, if someone comes to your website and doesn’t know what Social Bookmarking tool are, forget about it. Let the techies and bloggers who DO know what those buttons mean to use them to spread your message. Stop trying to educate the people who don’t “get” social networking. It’s not your job to convert them. Do people Digg you?

6. Use RSS. This is the PERFECT tool for building your permission asset. How many subscribers do YOU have?

7. Make it easy to share. Include boxes and buttons for link sharing, i.e., “Send this site to a friend” and embeddable HTML tags for videos, playlists and pictures. Are you making your website really, really easy to share?

8. REMEMBER: It’s not how many people come to your site, it’s WHO comes to your site. Eyeballs are overrated. So don’t get caught up in traffic, hits and the like. Are you focusing on the number of eyeballs or the RIGHT eyeballs?

9. People. Find raving fans that have big mouths, market to them and then get out of the way. How many fans do YOU have?

10. Build suspense. Whether you use an ezine, RSS feed or blog, have a countdown during the final month before launch. Build anticipation. For example, you could use a screen shot to drum up interest at the end of each blog post. Does anyone even KNOW about your new website?

11. Humor wins. Think about the last time you said or heard someone say: “Dude, you’ve GOT to check out this website!” More than likely, it’s because somebody, somewhere, was funny. What’s humorous about YOUR site?

12. Get ‘em at hello. Two seconds. That’s about how much time you have to convince someone that your website is worth telling her friends about. So, make sure it passes “The Cubicle Test,” i.e., If somebody walked by her coworker’s workspace, would she stop in tracks and say, “Hey, cool! What website is THAT?”

13. THREE WORDS: Other people’s traffic. What joint ventures are YOU working on?

14. Purpose. Don’t make it a website, make it a destination. Assure that people will actually stick around for more than 60 seconds. Make it community based and interactive through message boards, comments and other social networking tools. Keep the feedback loop constantly flowing. How frequently do people come BACK to your website?

15. Story. Make sure your site has a tab, box or content page that includes “Your Story.” After all, that’s all marketing is: storytelling. Because people don’t remember ads, they remember stories. NOTE: If possible, make “Your Story” a video. Let people see you doing what you do. Let people get to know you as a person, not a professional. What’s YOUR story?

16. User generated content. Enable customers to contribute and participate. Allow them to create their own profiles, accounts and usernames. Create a forum where they can discuss, share and upload their own pictures and videos with other users. They will take ownership of your website as their own and tell everyone they know. How are you giving your visitors a piece of the pie?

17. Simple. Simplicity is better, quicker, easier and most importantly, what customers crave. Could your website be explained to a five year-old?

18. Revisitability. Update new content at LEAST once a week, if not daily. This will bring people back again and again. REMEMBER: Websites are like newspapers – nobody wants to read them if they’re two years old. So, consider embedding a blog into the homepage. It works! If I had to do it again, my website and blog would be the same thing. When was the last time you updated YOUR content?

19. Ask yourself three questions. “What’s remarkable about my website?” “Why would someone come to (and stay at) my website for more than 60 seconds?” “Why would someone tell her friends about my website consistently?” Be honest. Are you evaluating your website objectively?

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your #1 tip for building buzz about your new website?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your secret here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Who's blogging about YOUR website?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons to get people talking about YOU!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Your primary task is to diffuse defensiveness

This week I've been working in The Bahamas with my friends at Homesteaders Life Company. We're having a blast! (This is a picture of my mobile office to the left. Sigh...)

Too bad I gotta go back to the four inches of ice in St. Louis. Grrrr...


Anyway, these folks, who sell pre-need funeral and burial arrangements, have QUITE the challenge when approaching new customers. So, one of the key topics in our workshop yesterday was on disarming immediate concerns.

Because defensiveness always exists.

In the minds of every single customers you engage with, there’s always something.

Some concern.
Some insecurity.
Some annoyance.
Some stereotype.

Something she can’t get out of her mind.

And until she does, she not going to be fully comfortable talking with you.

It's like a wall that, until you get over it, prevents meaningful conversation from advancing.

WHICH MEANS: Your primary task is to diffuse defensiveness.

Now, that doesn’t mean it’s your most IMPORTANT task.

Just your first one.

Because when comfort exists, the rules change.

See, comfort is the baseline from which engaging, open and approachable communication stems.

Think about it. When someone feels comfortable, they’re a LOT more willing to:

o Talk
o Open up
o Ask questions
o Voice concerns
o Share problems
o Express emotions
o Volunteer information
o Say how they (really) feel
o Listen to what you have to say
o Give you their phone number

Just kidding about that last one ☺

Anyway, that’s the big challenge: diffusing defensiveness.

So, I’m curious…

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you diffuse defensiveness - of prospects, customers, employees - in YOUR profession?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your three best practices here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Want your staff members to open up to you?
Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on diffusing defensiveness!

Thursday, February 21, 2008

18 Myths about Creativity That Are Holding Your Inner Artist Hostage

MYTH #1: Creativity is about making something out of nothing.
REALITY: Creativity is about making connections between existing things.

MYTH #2: Creativity is something you DO and HAVE
REALITY: Creativity is something you ARE.

MYTH #3: Creativity is about making the material come to you.
REALITY: Creativity is about unblocking the flow of what’s already there. (For the best way to relieve artistic consipation, read this.)

MYTH #4: Writer’s block is the greatest enemy to creativity.
REALITY: Thinker’s block is the greatest enemy to creativity. (If you want to avoid Thinker's Block, read this.)

MYTH #5: There is an official “process” to creativity.
REALITY: There are many processes to creativity, each of which has many different layers.

MYTH #6: Creativity comes (primarily) from hard work and (partially) from inspiration.
REALITY: Creativity comes equally from forcing yourself to create AND harnessing inspiration when it crosses your path. (Read more on The Paradox of Inspiration.)

MYTH #7: You can teach people to become more creative.
REALITY: You can ONLY teach people how to harness their inherent creativity AND create an environment that fosters creativity. (To create that environment, check this out.)

MYTH #8: Creativity is a skill.
REALITY: Creativity is a skill AND an attitude AND a lifestyle AND a thought process AND a way of being.

MYTH #9: Creativity is about getting your “one big idea.”
REALITY: Creativity is about constantly having lots of ideas, big and small; good and bad.

MYTH #10: Creativity is something you apply to your work.
REALITY: Creativity is something you apply to EVERYTHING, as it is a way of approaching and encountering the world.

MYTH #11: Creativity is about thinking.
REALITY: Creativity is about thinking AND listening AND observing AND watching AND surrendering AND noticing patterns AND combining AND asking AND plucking AND scanning AND receiving.

MYTH #12: Creativity is something you control.
REALITY: Creativity is something that you received from a higher power because you selflessly listened and surrendered to it.

MYTH #13: Creativity comes from chaotic, unstructured, non-linear thinking.
REALITY: Creativity comes from chaotic, unstructured, non-linear thinking COMBINED with small touches of occasional structure.

MYTH #14: Creativity is something you just turn on when needed.
REALITY: Creativity is a muscle that gets stronger with increased use and must be practiced as a daily non-negotiable that is as regular and normal as breathing.

MYTH #15: Creativity is about completing specific pieces.
REALITY: Creativity is about contributing to a lifelong body of work. (To see some HOT bodies - of work, that is - read this.)

MYTH #16: Creativity is about coming up with lots of ideas all the time.
REALITY: Creativity is about maintaining a healthy balance between idea creation AND idea judgment.

MYTH #17: Creativity is about making something nobody else has ever made.
REALITY: Creativity is about giving people new eyes, not new landscapes.

MYTH #18: The purpose of creativity is to make stuff.
REALITY: The purpose is to grow your soul.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's holding YOUR Inner Artist hostage?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list called "The 10 Best Books on Creativity You've Never Heard Of," send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll gladly motivate your melon ;)

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Tired of waiting around for new customers?
Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on getting them to come to YOU!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

13 Killer Sales Questions Your Competitors Aren’t Asking

Questions are differentiators.

With prospects.
With customers
With total strangers!

So, if you want to become That Guy – and if you want to own the MAXIMUM amount of mindshare in your customers’ minds – start by asking better questions.

Now, by “asking BETTER questions,” I mean:

Asking dangerous questions.
Asking disturbing questions.
Asking dumb questions.
Asking guiding questions.
Asking judicious questions.
Asking killer questions.
Asking challenging question.
Asking penetrating questions.
Asking smarter questions.
Asking unexpected questions.
Asking upside-down questions.
Asking well-crafted questions.
Asking well-timed questions.

AND I PROMISE YOU: If you ask questions like THAT, your customers will form an impression of you as someone who is creative, intelligent, observant ... and has BIG ears.

That will ENABLE them to buy from you.
That will ENTICE them to come back to you.
That will ENCOURAGE them to tell their friends about you.

Sound good?

Cool.

So, I suggest you start by making a list called “Top Ten Most Common Questions Asked by a Salesperson in My Field.”

Whether it’s during a sales presentation, over the phone or at a networking event, identify the types of questions every other salesperson just like you is asking their prospects.

Examples might include textbook, unoriginal questions like, “How much are you currently spending on…?” or “How happy are you with you present suppliers?”

HERE’S WHY YOU DO THIS: Knowing what questions your prospects are used TO and tired OF being asked is a powerful sales weapon.

Because now all YOU have to do is NOT ask those questions!

(Well, that’s not all you have to do.) You ALSO need to keep an arsenal of killer questions yourself. And those questions need to be easily accessible.

So, that leads to the next step: creating another list.

Title this one, “Killer Sales Questions My Competitors Aren’t Asking.”

Think of the best, most creative and most original sales questions you’ve ever used or heard.

Questions that made customers smile.
Questions that caused customers to stop in their tracks.
Questions that enabled customers to share their needs and wants.

MY SUGGESTION: Spend a few hours searching through your notes, old emails, training manuals, on Google and in the books of your personal success library for the BEST questions you can find.

Over time, edit, update and review your list regularly. Keep it handy on your laptop, bulletin board and in your briefcase. (Or, if you want to be supremely dorky and O.C.D. like me, type out your best questions on a laminated card and keep it in your wallet for easy access.)

THE POINT IS: Cherish that list. It will become a powerful tool for differentiating yourself that will only get stronger over time.

And it will help you make sales forever.

And soon, people will be asking YOU for YOUR best sales questions!

Now, you probably noticed that the title of this article was “13 Killer Sales Questions Your Competitors Aren’t Asking.”

Well, I am a man of my word.

So, to finish up today’s post, I’m going to share my personal list with you.

NOTE: These questions were purposely left incomplete.

I did this so YOU could individually tailor these questions to your industry, customers and products.

So, think of them more as “prefixes” to your own unique questions. Fill them in however you wish. And feel free to use and share them with customers and coworkers today!

13 Killer Sales Questions Your Competitors Aren’t Asking

1. How are you making it difficult for your customers to…?
2. How are you making it easy for your customers to…?
3. How many customers are you losing by…?
4. What are the benefits you’d like to see as a result of…?
5. What are the bottlenecks in…?
6. What are the three biggest mistakes being made by…?
7. What do you think makes the difference between…?
8. What excuses are preventing you from…?
9. What one word do you want customers to use when describing…?
10. When someone comes to your website, what's the ONE thing…?
11. When someone walks into your store, how do you want them…?
12. When was the first occasion you noticed…?
13. When was the last time you actually…?

REMEMBER: Questions ARE differentiators.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your #1 killer sales question your competitors aren't asking?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Post your question here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

NametagTV: Give Extra Information



(Click here for the original link to this video on NametagTV!)

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you add value to your answers?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your best practices here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Training videos putting your staff to sleep?

Tune in to NametagTV.com for an interactive learning experience!

Stick yourself out there!

Monday, February 18, 2008

Growing Bigger Ears: Avoid Emotional Reactivity



















“You did WHAT? Three thousand dollars? Oh my God! Are you freaking CRAZY?!”

- - -

How would you feel if someone reacted that way to YOU?

Maybe a little defensive?
Maybe a little frustrated?
Maybe a little hesitant to open up further?

Right. Of course you would. Who wouldn’t?

This is a typical example of Emotional Reactivity, and it’s a dangerous barrier to Growing Bigger Ears.

See, certain things that people say WILL emotionally activate you. And as a result, you might felt the need to defend yourself, get huffy or even get the uncontrollable urge to yell!

Don’t.

Stay cool, stay calm and stay open.

That’s easy for YOU to say! you think. You're not the one whose 17 year-old son just crashed the car into the garage door! You're not the one whose best salesperson just lost the firm’s biggest client!

Fair enough.

But I'm not suggesting you repress your anger or hide your emotions. Instead, challenge yourself to become a better listener by responding emotionally objective, not emotionally reactive.

That means you…

STRIVE TO: pause, not jump.
STRIVE FOR: dialogue, not debate.
STRIVE TO BE: curious, not judgmental.
STRIVE TO APPEAR: observant, not accusatory.

IN SHORT: Objective, not reactive.

Because if you don’t, here are the potential dangers:

Emotional Reactivity is contagious.
Which increases conversational tension.

Emotional Reactivity is disrespectful.
Which is antithetical to the entire philosophy of Growing Bigger Ears.

Emotional Reactivity undermines trust.
Which taints the effectiveness of your listening environment.

Emotional Reactivity blocks understanding.
Which actively interferes with the listening process.

Emotional Reactivity creates defensiveness.
Which decreases the likelihood of someone opening up further.

Emotional Reactivity prevents people from saying what they want to say.
Which means it takes longer to achieve a resolution.

- - -

So, now that you understand the definitions and dangers of Emotional Reactivity, next we’re going explore six practices to help you avoid it.

1. Start with yourself. Before you can effectively listen to others, you must first listen within. Know thyself. To thine own self be true. You know, all of that stuff.

Consider these three questions to pinpoint the triggers of your Emotional Reactivity:

o Where does your emotional reactivity come from?
o What personal biases get in the way of listening effectively?
o When was the last time you listened, all the way through, to an idea that made you uncomfortable?

2. Objective, not reactive. Objectivity is in short supply. So, learn to act in response to the thoughts that fuel your Emotional Reactivity.

For example, if a comment made by an employee stirs up something fierce inside you, just STOP. Consider removing yourself from the situation doing a few exercises to increase oxygen and blood flow.

You could try focused breathing, taking a break or just getting up and walking around. All of these practices will relax your mind and body, thus reducing reactivity.

CAUTION: These relaxation techniques are most effective when carried out in private, so as to reduce the likelihood of coworkers thinking you’re really, really weird.

3. Respond; don’t react. There’s a MAJOR difference between these two words philosophies. See, reactions don’t require thought. They’re knee-jerk reflexes. Responses, on the other hand, are more thought-out. They’re mindful and reflective.

So, it’s important to first recognize that you always have a choice: to either react or respond. To resist the impulse.

Here are four solid questions to ask yourself:

o Why do I feel this way?
o What kinds of things am I reactive to?
o What would be an appropriate way to respond?
o What are the emotional triggers that generate anxiety inside me that prevent me from listening well?

4. Say what you see. Use statements of observation that are non-judgmental, non-comparison based and non-YOU-oriented. Phrases That Payses include:

o “I noticed…”
o “Tell me about…”
o “I wonder if…”
o “How do you feel about…?”
o “Here’s what I observed…”

Comments like these accomplish several goals. First of all, an objective piece of feedback doesn’t challenge someone’s character or attitude. Secondly, it opens the door to discussion. Thirdly, it fosters explanation, not accusation. And lastly, it doesn’t put the other person on the spot for an immediate answer.

5. Conduct internal dialogues. During periods of silence that precede your reactions responses, pay attention to what’s happening inside you while you listen. Consult the Spirits. The Powers That Be. The Muse. The Third Ear.

Or whatever you call it.

Ask yourself NOT, “What do I want to say?” but rather, “What wants to be said next?” and “What’s the next question that wants to be asked?”

Then, wait for your Inner Voice to respond.

- - -

As you can see, Growing Bigger Ears is about a series of CHOICES.

The choice to be objective.
The choice to pause, not jump.
The choice to respond, not react.
The choice to be objective, not reactive.
The choice to conserve your emotional energy.
The choice to replace defensiveness with understanding.

What’s more, because human beings shape their identity by the way others respond to them, your actions play a significant role in the formation of someone’s self-image.

SO REMEMBER:i Objective, not reactive.

Be known as someone who welcomes the truth no matter how disturbing or difficult it might be to hear.

Listen for what the person is trying to communicate AND what they’re actually saying.

After all, it’s awfully hard to Grow Bigger Ears when your Emotional Reactivity is louder than what the other person says.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How do you remain emotionally objective?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For a list of 8 non-threatening, objective and inviting Phrases That Payses that demonstrate emotional objectivity, send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll hook you up!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Tired of your employees avoiding you?
Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on getting them to come to YOU!

Friday, February 15, 2008

Approachable Managers: Lay a Foundation of Affirmation

Because acknowledgment is a universal human need, listening is (initially) about AFFIRMATION.

Making people feel valued, validated and important.

See, human beings shape their self-image based on how they are responded to by others.

For example:

o If someone grew up hearing messages like, “I don’t wanna hear it right now!” and “Stop asking so many questions!”

...it’s likely that she would develop a reticence when approaching people in the future.

o On other hand, if comments like, “Tell me more!” and “That’s a great question!” were ingrained into someone’s mind...

...his future level of approachability would be dramatically different.

For that reason, your (potential) influence as the listener is powerful.

So, you MUST take the opportunity to lay a foundation of affirmation. That way your employees will authentically open up to you.

AND REMEMBER: Even if you don’t care FOR, approve OF or agree WITH someone’s ideas, when they approach YOU in need of a bended ear, you job is to let them know thahttp://www.blogger.com/img/gl.link.gift you heard them.

Here’s a quick list of 8 Phrases That Payses to help affirm your speaker:

1. You’re raising an important issue.
2. Great question!
3. I’m really glad you brought that up.
4. When you said (x), that triggered the following thought for me…
5. I’m SO glad you asked that question.
6. Interesting point.
7. That is one option we will need to look at.
8. I was hoping you’d ask that question!

(If you need more, you could always consult your friendly affirmation ball.)

Verbiage like this is positive, approachable and affirming. And the best part is, it advances the conversation into a mutually shared space in which people feel safe to open up to you.

And THAT enables you to learn what's going on with your employees, uncover problems and suggest solutions.

SO REMEMBER: Growing bigger ears is (first) about laying a foundation of affirmation.

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you affirm your employees and team members?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your three best Phrases That Payses here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Want your employees to open up to you?
Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on growing bigger ears!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

How to become your own consultant

You probably don’t have the money to hire McKinsey.

But you still want to make your company more equitable, more profitable and more successful, right?

Cool.

Well then, if you’re willing to invest your time and mental energy (but not so much money!) consider this option:

What if you became your OWN consultant?

I know. It sounds impossible.

After all, the whole point of hiring a consultant is to bring someone ELSE into your company, right?

Well, to a certain extent, yes.

However, the word “consultant” stems from the Latin consultare, which means, “To deliberate or consider.”

And you don’t necessarily need some MBA in a suit to do that for you.

Now, sure, I believe in The Outsider Advantage. And I believe there are lots of AMAZING consultants out there.

Heck, I even have a consulting department myself.

But I also believe that successful entrepreneurs learn how to practice objective deliberation on their own.

Because (most of) the answers lie within.

- - -

So, even though it’s not the same thing as brining in some suit from a Fortune 500, your company still can reap the benefits from a little self-consulting.

Especially if you do it regularly.

NOTE: I’m not suggesting you abandon your relationships with mentors, advisors and other members of your professional support system. Nor am I suggesting that self-consulting is a replacement for that support system.

I merely implore you to consider yourself as your company’s most valuable consultative resource.

That being said, let’s explore a list of five practices to help you become your own consultant.

1. Begin with objectivity. The primary value of hiring an outside consultant is BECAUSE she comes from The Outside. This means she has little or no bias. This means she can deliver independent thought. And this means she can recognize patterns immediately.

Obviously, this is a LOT harder to do when it’s just you. Especially since you’re so close to the situation.

So, your challenge is to operate on multiple planes of consciousness. To avoid emotional reactivity. To detach yourself so you can objectively and honestly consider your own criticism.

Kind of like Michael Gerber suggests in The E-Myth: “You need to be the creator, the manager and the technician … simultaneously.”

ASK YOURSELF: Are you willing to step back and examine your company’s challenges calmly and objectively?

2. U-NEED-2-READ. Every single day, spend at least fifteen minutes reading, annotating and studying books that facilitate self-exploration. Books that ask you questions. Books that challenge you. Books that make you sit back and think.

Consider these titles to get your success library started. I’ve personally had breakthrough moments of company knowledge with each one:

o The Aladdin Factor
o Flight Plan
o The Mentor’s Spirit
o Ordering Your Private World
o Questions that Work
o Thinking for a Change

Also, once you’ve marked up your books, the next step is to customize a personal system for transcribing your thoughts. I suggest recopying or summarizing your notes, keeping them in a folder – physically or virtually – and revisiting them regularly. This will keep those self-consultative thoughts fresh in your mind.

ASK YOURSELF: How many books did you read last month?

3. Ask the right questions. Questions are the basis of all knowledge, understanding and creativity. And if you want to be your own consultant, remember that questions are the answer.

So, I suggest doing three things.

First, consider 3-5 vital areas of your business. Everything from marketing to sales to blogging to managing employees.

Next, make a list of pointed, specific and penetrating questions that correspond to each “department.”

Then, ask away!

Now, each book mentioned in the previous example has a WEALTH of great questions. But, if you’re still not sure what to ask, no worries! Here are a few mini lists to get you started:

LEADERSHIP QUESTIONS
o How much are you promoting your own personal agenda?
o Can you clearly define what you are a steward of?
o Have you considered other alternatives to this value and explored them fully?

MANAGEMENT QUESTIONS
o How are you creating a non-threatening workplace?
o How are you creating a question-friendly atmosphere?
o How do you create an environment in the workplace that encourages the generation and application of your best ideas?

MARKETING QUESTIONS
o How are you allowing customers to participate in your brand?
o How are you building a following?
o How are you building a permission asset?

SALES QUESTIONS
o Are you using informational, value-added follow-up?
o Do you know where your leads are coming from?
o Are you spending more time educating potential customers on the benefits of your service, or telling them why you are better than the competition?

ENTREPRENEUR QUESTIONS
o What “little things” made a big impact on your business?
o What are the best people in your field doing?
o What are the most important things for you to work on that will grow your business the fastest?

4. Hit the page. If you are TRULY serious about becoming your own consultant, the most important practice you can undertake is writing. Especially since you’ve already been reading great books and asking great questions, writing is the logical next step!

“Yeah, but I’m not a writer,” you say.

Yes you are. Everyone is a writer. Writing is the basis of all wealth.

So, here are my three best suggestions for using the practice of writing to become your own consultant:

o Learn to do Morning Pages, the best writing/creativity exercise in the world!

o After asking your questions from example #3, put each your answers in writing. Store your document according to topic in a folder called, “Consulting Me.”

o For any other form of writing you do (as it pertains to consulting yourself), make lists. Lists for everything! And why? Well, consider these 43 reasons.

ASK YOURSELF: What did you write today?

5. Let everything mentor you. OK, we’ve talked about detachment, reading, questioning and writing as four effective practices to help you become your own consultant. For our final example, here’s another self-consultative exercise you can use throughout your day when you’re NOT reading, writing or questioning.

Let’s go back to that list of books for a sec. One in particular, The Mentor’s Spirit, has a FANTASTIC philosophy about self-consulting. Author Marsha Sinetar suggests that you “search out the mentor’s spirit in everyone and everything.” A few other great keepers from her book include:

o “Don’t be afraid of being a little unreasonable with yourself.”
o “Value silence for creative discovery and personal renewal.”
o “We grow by living with our questions, not by having all the answers.”
o “Search each current and particle of existence for truth.”

ASK YOURSELF: How can I let this experience, person or thing mentor me?

- - -

REMEMBER: If you’re willing to invest your time and mental energy, acting as your own consulting CAN pay off BIG time.

It will increase your self-knowledge.
Which will increase your confidence.
Which will increase your company’s equity.
Which will increase your company’s profitability.

And you won’t even need to hire someone from McKinsey!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do serve as your own consultant?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
For a copy of my Top 100 Self-Consultative Questions, send an email to scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll send you the list for free!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How many unsolicited referrals did YOU get this week?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on enabling customers to buy!

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Your company environment IS your marketing

When I was a kid, my dad would occasionally take my brother and I along on his business trips.

Whenever he worked in Chicago, we’d stay at the Hyatt Regency in Rosemont.

Or, as we used to call it, “The Spicy Peanut Hotel.”

And to this day, we still call it that.

Because that’s what I remember. See, every night after my dad would finish work, my family and I would sit in the lobby, eating spicy peanuts.

So one night, I got curious.

“Hey Dad, why do they always give us free spicy peanuts?”

“Well, Scott, think about it," Dad said, "What happens when you eat LOTS of spicy peanuts?”

“Um ... your mouth breathes fire!” I said.

“Right,” he joked. “And what does that make you want really, really badly?”

“A soda!”

“Exactly,” Dad replied. “And where do they sell sodas?”

“In the bar!”

He smiled at me.

And at that exact moment, my first official marketing light bulb went on.

Ah-ha! They give away spicy peanuts for FREE so you have to BUY drinks! Genius!!

Of course, I was only seven at the time.

Had no idea I’d end up working in Marketing.

Anyway, 20+ years later, the principle still rings true:

Your company environment IS part of your marketing.

Here’s another example…

Last summer I was walking over to Starbucks for a meeting.

It was 97 degrees outside.

“Would you like a drink to go with your lemon pound cake?” asked the barista.

“Nah, it’s too hot for coffee. I’ll just grab a glass of ice water,” I replied.

So, I sat down with my snack, fired up my laptop and waited for my friend Dan.

And not ten minutes later, I stopped typing and realized something:

It was FREEZING in that store!

They must have set the thermostat at 55 degrees! I thought.

Either way, I got up from my table, approached the counter and smiled at the two baristas.

“So, do you guys make it REALLY cold in here so people buy hot drinks?”

They laughed.

“Well, our manager controls the temperature, so…” one of the girls chuckled.

“Mmm hmm…” I joked. “A likely story!”

They laughed again.

“Anyway, I’ll have a Grande Carmel Apple Cider.”

Damn it! They got me again! I thought.

Just like those spicy peanuts.

Your company environment IS part of your marketing.

Last example…

On Main Street in Disney’s Magical Kingdom, you might recall a store called Blue Ribbon Bakery.

Did you notice the smell of fresh chocolate chip cookies as you passed by?

Of course you did. Who could miss it?

But, did you know...

...those weren't actually cookies?

Nope. Disney's smell specialists have crafted a “fresh-baked chocolate cookie” smell that is piped through a vent directly over the door to the bakery.

Blast! Those slick marketers again!

- - -

So, peanuts, cold air, the scent of baked goods … each of these are examples of marketing through environment.

And they work.

Because they appeal to the senses.
Because they affect customers’ emotions.
Because they make the mundane memorable.
Because they create UNFORGETTABLE impressions.

REMEMBER: Your company environment IS part of your marketing.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
How are you changing your company’s environment to promote purchasing?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your best "marketing through environment" example here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How are YOU making the mundane memorable?

Tune in to The Frontline Channel on NametagTV.com for video lessons on delivering UNFORGETTABLE service!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

NametagTV: Ideas Mean Nothing!



Video not working? Click here for Adobe Flash 9!



(Click here for the original link to this video.)

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Did you register the domain for your new idea yet?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
For the #1 way to prevent idea blocks, email scott@hellomynameisscott.com and I'll share the secret!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Training videos putting your staff to sleep?

Tune in to NametagTV.com for an interactive learning experience!

Stick yourself out there!

Monday, February 11, 2008

The IF Factor

Entrepreneurs need to be aware of seven truths, trends and realizations.

I call it "The IF Factor."

Here goes...

1. IF … everybody loves your idea, you’re doing something wrong.
Stop trying to please everybody. Stop trying to be so well rounded. Stop trying to appeal to the masses.

Pick a lane, narrow your focus and start polarizing some people. It won’t kill you.

REMEMBER: There’s a LOT of customers out there.

2. IF … everybody says you’re crazy, you might just be onto something.
They’re just jealous. Or threatened. Or ignorant. Don’t let the haters get you down. Some people just aren't worth listening to.

Neitzche said: “And those who were seen dancing were thought to be crazy by those who could not hear the music.”

REMEMBER: People thought Einstein, Edison, Lambert, Ford, Jobs and Gates were crazy! And last time I checked, those guys turned out pretty good.

3. IF … you’re not pissing off (some) people, you’re not doing your job.
Make some waves. Controversy is good. Don’t be afraid to take a side. Have the courage to stand out and stand up for what you believe.

REMEMBER: Feather-ruffling and boat-rocking are good things.

4. IF … at first your idea doesn’t sound absurd, there is no hope for it.
Think of all the great ideas, inventions and innovations that were once laughed at or thought stupid and inefficient: the airplane, the personal computer and the cell phone.

Ha! It’s human nature. That which stands out gets criticized.

As Peter Drucker said, “Anything truly new that looks big is indeed usually distrusted.”

REMEMBER: If people say your idea is far-fetched, consider it a compliment. An omen. A sign of good things to come.

5. IF … nobody’s trying to steal, copy or parody your idea, it’s probably not that good.
The entire soft drink industry was created because everybody kept trying to steal Coke’s recipe.

What are people trying to steal from you?

REMEMBER: The only thing worse than someone trying to steal your idea is NOBODY WANTING to steal your idea.

6. IF … you can’t explain it to a five year old, it’s not simple enough.
We live in a hyperspeed, A.D.D., instant gratification culture. People don’t have the time or attention to sit and figure out what you’re selling.

You need to (kindly) punch them in the face.

You only have a few seconds and a few words. A kindergartener should be able to tell her friends about your idea.

REMEMBER: Customers crave simplicity!

7. IF … people aren’t talking about your idea, you're in trouble.
Plain and simple: businesses that get talked about get more business. Remarkability wins. And word of mouth is the most authentic, effective and powerful form of marketing in the world.

What’s more, “satisfaction” is no longer enough. This isn’t 1989! “Customer satisfaction” proves NOTHING. Satisfied customers don’t tell their friends about you. Only loyal (or, hopefully, INSISTENT) fans (not even customers) tell their friends about you.

So, remember what Oscar Wilde said: “The only thing worse than being talked about is NOT being talked about.”

REMEMBER: Get noticed = Get remembered = Get business.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What's your "IF Factor"?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share it here!

Who's telling their friends about YOUR company?

Tune in to The Entrepreneur Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on getting attracting more business!

Friday, February 08, 2008

What does your email say about YOU?










Email addresses are VERY telling.

About your personality.
About your creativity and uniqueness.
About your professionalism (or lack thereof).

What’s more, email addresses elicit certain emotions when people first see them.

Let's look at a few examples.

NOTE: None of these emails are actually real (to my knowledge). I just made them up. However, if any of them ARE real, I don't mean to offend anybody. My apologies to Kayla.

1. info@yourwebsite.com

POTENTIAL SILENT DIALOGUES:

o “He’ll never write me back!”
o “Great. Does this email even go to a real person?”
o “Well, so much for getting my problem answered quickly!”

2. kaylasmommy@aol.com

POTENTIAL SILENT DIALOGUES:

o “Who still uses AOL?”
o “Who the heeck is Kayla?”
o "I bet SHE works from home...”

3. steveandmaryjackson@gmail.com

POTENTIAL SILENT DIALOGUES:

o “Wait, are two people going to read this email I’m about to send?”
o “Why can’t Steve and Mary get separate email addresses?”
o “Will the privacy of my letter be violated?”

4. isellcars2U@yahoo.com

POTENTIAL SILENT DIALOGUES:

o “Do I really want to do business with someone who has an email like this?”
o “Can’t this guy get a company email, or does he just sell junk cars from his back yard?”

5. Dave783@hotmail.com

POTENTIAL SILENT DIALOGUES:

o “What does 783 mean?”
o “Is Dave so lazy and uncreative that he needed Hotmail to create his email address FOR him? And is that the kind of person I want to do business with?”
o “Who still uses Hotmail?”

6. m_876#8815_gratzy8@gg.com

POTENTIAL SILENT DIALOGUES:

o “Is this spam?”
o “Is this even a real email address?”
o “Whose email is this?”

7. super_creative_artist@sbglobal.net

POTENTIAL SILENT DIALOGUES:

o “If this lady was such a ‘killer’ artist, wouldn’t she have her own website, and not have to use SBC?”
o “Kind of an uncreative email address for a 'super creative artist,' huh?"
o “Wait, what was her actual name again?”

- - -

Look folks.

Email addresses don’t need to be works of art.

But at the same time, they don’t need to be boring.

So, evaluate the perception of yours. Ask yourself how professional, accurate and unique your email address REALLY is, and what the first impression is when someone sees it for the first time.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
What does your email say about YOU?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Post a list right here called, "Types of Email Addresses that Really Annoy Me," along with the PSD's (Potential Silent Dialogues) that accompany each one.

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Do you have MARKET share or MIND share?

Tune in to The Marketing Channel on NametagTV.com for video lessons on creating unforgettable brands that magnetize more business!

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Be SO good that customers can't even tell

Walk into any Lush store around the world, and most customers will have the same response:

“These guys are SO good, their soaps don’t even look like soap!”

When was the last time YOU took a picture of SOAP?

Probably never.

But the people at Lush are just THAT good.

Tune in to The Ace of Cakes on Food Network (Staring culinary arr-teest Duff Goldman), and most viewers will share the same thought:

“That dude his SO good, his cakes don’t even look like cakes!

When was the last time YOU took a picture of a CAKE?

Unless it was a wedding, probably never.

But Charm City Cakes are just THAT good.

LESSON LEARNED: As Michael Cane said, "The art is hiding the art."

That’s great advice.

And I think you can apply this principle to a variety of situations:



CREATE marketing that’s SO fun, SO cool and SO participative…
That your fans don’t even realize you’re marketing to them.

SELL your stuff with SUCH passion, SUCH comfort and SUCH service…
That your prospects don’t even realize you’re selling to them.

PERFORM sp effortlessly, SO naturally and SO emotionally...
That your audience doesn’t even realize you’re performing for them.

WRITE so engagingly, SO well-architected and with SO much personality…
That your readers don’t even realize they’re reading.

BUILD community that’s SO organic, SO authentic and SO inviting…
That your members don’t even realize they’re members of an organization.

NOTE: This doesn’t mean tricking, duping or manipulating people.

It just means being really, really good and doing what you do.

That's what being That Guy is all about.

So good that people get lost in your brilliance and don’t even realize you’re doing what you do.

Never let ‘em catch you acting.

LET ME ASK YA THIS...
Who do YOU know that's so good at doing what they do, people can't even tell?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS...
Share your best example here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

How are YOU making the mundane memorable?

Tune in to The Frontline Channel on NametagTV.com for video lessons on creating and keeping satisfied insistent customers!

Wednesday, February 06, 2008

6 Ways to Put Customers, Coworkers and Employees Ease

Calm is approachable.

So, if you want to become more approachable to others, start by being calmer yourself.

See, when you’re at ease with yourself, other people will feel the same. And as a result, they will feel more comfortable in your presence, which will make them more comfortable opening up.

THINK ABOUT IT: Do you really want to approach (or be approached by) someone who is overly stressed, constantly worried, jerky or pacing back and forth?

Doubtful.

IN FACT, THINK ABOUT THIS: Who’s the calmest, most relaxed and peaceful person you know?

That person’s probably pretty approachable, huh?

SO, THE SECRET IS: To put others at ease, start with yourself.

Your challenge is to incorporate calmness into various aspects of your daily life; then allow it to transfer to the people you encounter. Here’s a list of six practices to help you do so:

1. Daily Appointments with Yourself. Take 30-60 minutes every morning to do nothing other than think, relax and just BE. Focus on your breathing, read positive materials, practice affirmations and listen to great music.

This will prime your brain to face the day with calmness and peace. For a step-by-step guide on how to have a Daily Appointment, read this.

2. Incorporate breathing into EVERYTHING. My friend Robert Friedman, an expert on stress solutions, teaches people to incorporate mindful breathing into every aspect of their lives. He suggests being more mindful of your breathing during mundane activities like reading, writing, opening doors and before answering the phone.

“By increasing oxygen level and Alpha Wave flow to your brain,” Robert says, “You relax your mind, body and spirit," he explains.

3. Affirmation. If you feel hurried, impatient or fidgety during the day, take a minute or two to affirm to yourself, “There are no emergencies,” or “I am enough, I do enough, I have enough.” This will build a foundation of calmness throughout your soul that can’t help but be contagious to the people you interact with.

And if you think affirmations are cheesy, you're right. They are. But that doesn't mean they don't work ;)

4. Meditation. Don’t be intimidated by this word. You don’t have to be a Yogi Master or a Tibetan Monk to practice meditation. In fact, the word is defined as, “continued or extended thought or reflection.” And it comes from the Latin word "to contemplate."

So, find periods in your day where you can be silent, mindful and reflective … by yourself. Anywhere from five to twenty minutes should be enough to calm you down.

5. Silence. Because of our “always on,” hyperspeed, information overload culture, silence is difficult for a lot of people. However, what you’ll discover is that silence is an important tool for projecting approachability. Here’s how it works:

o The more you practice silence alone, the more comfortable you will be during silence with others.
o The more comfortable silence is with others, the safer the atmosphere becomes.
o The safer the atmosphere becomes, the more likely you are to share your authentic feelings, concerns and questions.

How much silent time have YOU taken today?

6. Exercise. First of all, if you’re not already exercising every single day, you’re NUTS! More specifically, people who do so every day are calmer because they have an outlet to release their tensions, stresses and anxieties.

Even if it means walking for 15 minutes a day, do it! It’s not only essential for your health; it’s also a contributor to your calmness throughout the rest of the day.

REMEMBER: Calm is approachable.

So, if you want to put customers, coworkers and employees at ease, start with yourself!

LET ME ASK YA THIS…
How do you put yourself at ease?

LET ME SUGGEST THIS…
Share your techniques and best practices here!

* * * *
Scott Ginsberg
That Guy with the Nametag
scott@hellomynameisscott.com

Going on a sales call today?

Tune in to The Sales Channel on NametagTV.com!

Watch video lessons on selling enabling customers to buy!